End user: TableSafe
Problem: The company’s RAIL pay-at-the-table device needed EMV and next-generation payment support
Solutions used: Creditcall ChipDNA Direct
Results: With Creditcall’s help, TableSafe RAIL 2 supports EMV, NFC, iBeacon, and other next-generation payment options.
As we know, in most restaurants today, once finished dining, customers receive the check and then the process begins of the wait staff going back and forth between the POS system, and table to handle the credit card transaction. Meanwhile, that same waiter or waitress is tasked with taking orders and refilling drinks from other patrons. Ultimately, the payment process can disrupt the dining experience of everyone involved.
To address this need, TableSafe’s RAIL provides a pay-at-the-table payment platform that puts security and control of the payment process back into the hands of the patron. The device creates an unobtrusive payment method that looks, on the surface, like today’s check billfold, with a significant difference. Inside the billfold is a highly intuitive payment device that allows the customer to check out and pay the bill at their leisure. Additionally, this solution helps customers feel more secure about paying with a credit card because the card never leaves their hands.
The original RAIL, created a few years ago, supported mag-stripe transactions only. While it did feature P2PE (point-to-point encryption), the device lacked EMV, tokenization, and support for next-generation functionality such as NFC and iBeacon. The company decided to pull the product and build a more future-proof payment device that would provide a payment agnostic platform for the hospitality industry. Unfortunately, TableSafe’s existing payment partner lacked experience and knowledge about EMV and these new payment technologies, so the company searched for a new solution provider. “We needed a partner with the expertise, knowledge, and willingness to collaborate on a new payment platform that supported next-generation payment functionality,” says Erik Ploof, VP of marketing and corporate business development for TableSafe.
Ploof says his company did a significant evaluation of potential payment partners and Creditcall was the one that came to the forefront and stepped up to the challenge. “We needed a partner that was willing to coach us through the uncharted territory of bringing a device to certification that was more than just the typical payment terminal you’d find in the marketplace up to that point,” he says. “We also wanted a partner where we could leverage not only their payment expertise, but also their connections throughout the entire payment ecosystem to ensure smooth sailing through a very complex and intensive certification process.”
TableSafe discovered that the providers in the United States not only had limited experience, but their strategy was short-sighted. “When we spoke with some of them about their plan and rollout for EMV, many had only a few payment options and some actually told us they didn’t think the EMV shift would happen and that it was an empty mandate,” recalls Ploof. Coming from the UK, Creditcall was already very experienced with EMV and had lived through many migrations.
With Creditcall, TableSafe found a partner that would fully support EMV with every US processor with which TableSafe was aligned. “We evaluated some providers who were working with most of the big processors, but then had some significant gaps to some tier-2 and tier-3 processors,” says Ploof. “That was an issue for us, because we don’t want to walk into a restaurant and mandate that they need to change their processor.” From the start, Creditcall’s integrations ensured that TableSafe could support its restaurants with the payment partners the restaurants already had.
Once TableSafe and Creditcall had a signed agreement, Ploof says the business relationship quickly evolved into a true partnership. “From day one, support and communication with Creditcall has been phenomenal from management to the support team,” says Ploof. “They came to our office and met us at every trade show we were at together. It didn’t take long before we realized we were both invested in the other and believed we made the right choice to work together to bring the new RAIL 2 product to market.”
Compared to the previous provider, TableSafe found that Creditcall had a wealth of SDKs to choose from. Ploof says all the APIs and SDKs were very straight-forward and well-documented. “Integration with Creditcall’s ChipDNA Direct occurred in a very short time span and required minimal help from their support team,” says Ploof. “In the few times we did need assistance, they immediately sprang into action and provided us the information, details, and best practices to follow.”
Ploof says TableSafe requested some bleeding edge functionality related to how RAIL 2 would be coded for future-proofing and how it would interact with modern databases. Given those requests, he says Creditcall built out the specifications to allow TableSafe to accomplish its goals with the new product.
The new device, RAIL 2, utilizes Creditcall ChipDNA Direct (formerly CardEaseXML), which is an XML-based protocol that makes use of the payment transaction features of Creditcall’s payment gateway. It provides an abstraction layer to all of the processors and acquiring banks with which Creditcall’s payment gateway is integrated. The payment gateway translates a ChipDNA Direct message into the underlying payment protocol supported by the destination processor or acquiring bank.
The solution has PCI PTS (PIN Transaction Security) certification with SRED (Secure Read and Exchange of Data) up to the latest spec. RAIL 2 support for EMV transactions is forthcoming once L2 certification occurs in Q4 2016/Q1 2017. “The expertise and capability Creditcall offers, especially as they’ve already been through so many EMV certifications, will help us with an expedited preferential certification,” says Ploof.
TableSafe has a payment partner poised to bring RAIL into the future. “Creditcall isn’t looking to simply stick with what they have,” says Ploof. “They always seem to be looking to innovate beyond what other payment companies do. They have a lot of innovative and interesting technologies coming out that we are planning to align with to provide a better experience for our customers.”
Not only does TableSafe feel as if its product meets an unaddressed need in the market, thanks to its partnership with Creditcall, it will soon offer the most comprehensive payment platform purpose built for the FSR industry that has already created a lot of excitement and demand. “There is a healthy backlog of market demand because there aren’t many pay-at-the-table solutions out there, let alone ones like ours,” concludes Ploof.